Before you skip this blog because you think it is going to be about politics, please consider reading. Politics is not the point. God gave me a pretty cool spiritual insight based on all of the debate going on in our government. Please read on to the end…there is a point!
For those of you who may live under a rock, let me rehash the current dilemma in the Ole USA. The government is currently running at a sizable deficit (fancy talk for more money being spent than is being brought in). Though, most families in our country are living in a deficit, spending slightly more than we are making (i.e. credit card and loan payments being a reality), our country is spending a lot more than it is making. Which brings us to the predicament that is eating up most of the “news hour” on any given station.
With a lot more money going out than coming in, just as I mentioned is the case for most American families, Uncle Sam (the US Government) has run up a large debt (in the sum of trillions of dollars) through borrowing money (like the aforementioned loans most families have to pay on). The only problem is that our loan payments are compounding the “money going out” issue. Roughly 40 cents of every dollar that goes to our government is sent back out as interest on the loans it has taken out, and that doesn’t count any money to pay off the debt or payments to other government programs and obligations. To be able to pay all we need to pay, the government has to take out more loans and run up a bigger debt (which, yes you guessed it causes bigger payments to be paid and more interest owed).
At some point in US history (I am not sure when), Congress decided to put a “cap” on how much debt our country can have. It takes an act of Congress to raise this “cap”. This is the “debt limit” you keep hearing about. The current debate is whether or not to raise this limit, how to increase revenues (money coming in), and how to cut spending (and everything that comes along with this). The republicans want to increase the limit by the smallest possible increment, not raise any taxes, and drastically cut spending. The democrats want to increase the limit as much as possible, raise taxes for revenues, and only cut spending on what can be done without affecting many people who rely on government programs. I am not going to chime in on my thoughts on this, this is not my reason for writing today.
God used this whole government issue, along with something from the Bible, to speak to me in a pretty profound way this morning. Okay, get your Bibles ready: Romans 3:9-19 and Romans 6 (yes, the whole chapter).
Here is the thing. We are all up to our eyeballs in debt to God. Sin (falling short of who God is and what he expects…or as Watchman Nee said it is the act of leaving God’s path) puts us at odds with God. Sin makes us have to pay a price to be made right with him…the price to pay is our “debt”. Every sin deepens the hole we have to dig out of. Every time we “fall short” of who God is, we are even more indebted to him.
A lot of people think, “Alright, then I will just live right and do the right things from now on.” This is a GREAT endevour…but it does nothing to make any of our “debt payments” to God. Not sinning will only keep us from getting deeper into debt. Even if you could spend the rest of your life as godly as God expects, you still have a price to pay. The first half of Romans 6:23 says that, “The wage of sin is death.” We owe God death. You can’t pay for that by not sinning anymore. You can’t. And, unfortunately, the bad news is that even death does nothing to make us “right with God.” It only pays our sin debt.
We can try to stop sinning, go to church, give all of our money to the poor, go to another country and tell others about Jesus, or anything else you can think of to try to balance your debt, but it won’t work. The payment is still due and you aren’t impressing God. The only way for the debt to be paid AND allow us to be right with God is for someone who doesn’t have to pay the debt for themselves to pay it for you. To die for you.
Tadaa! That is why Jesus, God’s son (fully God and fully man), had to come, live, and die for you. He did not sin. He did not have pay with death for his own sin, so his death can be a payment for your account. And even better news, HE WAS SEPARATED FROM GOD FOR YOU. Not only did he pay the debt, he took the “interest payment”. His sacrafice allows you to be made right with God.
“Mr. OneCupof Joe Guy, how do you know this makes us right with God and ends our separation?” I know because the tomb Jesus was laid in was empty a few days later. Jesus was raised from the dead!! This means the price was paid, punishment was carried out, and Jesus left the debtors prison with the keys in his hand! All you have to do is put your faith in the fact that this is true! Read the book of Romans and see for yourself!
Okay now back to the debt debate and to bring this all home and tie this one up. This is where Romans 6 comes in as a whole. Once we have put our faith in our debt being “balanced”, does that mean we can go on sinning and living like we did? No, of course not (to quote Paul)! We can’t keep running up the debt! If we do, it was never balanced for us in the first place! If we are truly free from our debt of sin (and the power it had over us), we will be changed. We will live and “do the right things” because our hearts (and the Spirit now living there) will drive us to. Our actions will be from internal motivation of acceptance by God and not the external motivation of trying to pay off our debt to him!
As for our country, who knows what is going to happen (well, God does), but I don’t think it is for me to obsess about. I think I need to focus on the debt debate in my heart and life…and thank you, Jesus, it is not a long debate! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
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